“It’s not a single regrettable mistake that brings our world crashing down around us, but a slow and steady injury of the spirit. We quit because we’re tired of being hurt. We walk away nob because of a massive, disqualifying mistake but because of the accumulated effect of unhealed wounds.”- Jeff Manion
“If an enemy were insulting me, I would endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.”- Psalm 55:12-14 (NIV)
Moving on to Day 20 (“How We Heal”), Week 4 of Dream Big, Think Small, Jeff Manion stresses one important fact about friendships. Sometimes friendships provide the greatest source of our pain and confusion. Hence, when you suffer repeated injury as you serve people faithfully for years, you face the real temptation to throw in the towel.
Therefore, Pastor Manion begins the conversation on Day 20 with a reality check. If you love and serve people well, hurt comes with the territory. In The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis wrote about relational pain:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.”
Finally, Jeff observes, many of us begin our calling or ministry life expecting people to exhibit proper behavior. However, soon reality bites this youthful idealism. And, left uncorrected, our resulting skepticism flows downhill into a deep, black pool of cynicism. As a result, to finish well it’s crucial to heal well.
Today’s question: In your life, what unhealed wounds cause(d) a slow and steady injury of the spirit? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Lacerated by hurtful barbs as you love, serve”